We’re packing up to move to a new apartment in a few days, so we’re trying to minimize the amount of stuff (food included) that comes in. It’s not quite pantry-busting, but I’m really trying to use what we have. My husband is doing his part by only eating Cheerios.
This is what brought me to today’s new food. It’s not a new food for me at all, but sometimes (often) I worry about my husband’s lack of dietary variation. I offer to make him breakfast fairly often, but he usually refuses and eats cold cereal. Today I
bullied sweet-talked him into having oatmeal.
Not just any oatmeal, though.
On the left? Rolled oats. I eat them for a quick hot breakfast sometimes and use them in granola and cookies.
On the right? Steel-cut oats, sometimes called Irish oatmeal. You can get McCann’s Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal in a 4-pack of attractive tins. Alternatively, you can buy them in the bulk section of the grocery store for about a dollar per pound.
Unlike mushy rolled oats, steel-cut oats become creamy and chewy when cooked. The downside is that they do take longer to prepare — about 30 minutes. Two easy ways to avoid this: make them overnight on the stove (bring water to a boil, stir in oats, cover, turn off heat and let stand overnight, reheat for breakfast), or in a crockpot (add water and oats, stir, leave on low overnight).
Use 3 parts water, 1 part oats. My normal breakfast serving is 1 cup water, 1/3 cup oats. For non-overnight cooking: bring water to a boil, stir in oats, reduce heat to a simmer and cook 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally until water is absorbed. If you like your oats a bit softer and creamier, add another tablespoon or two of water or milk near the end of the cooking time.
Texture-wise, they’re great. Flavor-wise, plain oats are still plain oats. I like to doctor mine up a bit. This morning’s toppings: a dash of cinnamon, golden and Thompson raisins, walnut pieces, maple syrup, chia seeds, and a spoonful of peanut butter.
If you’ve never tried stirring nut butters into your oatmeal, you’re missing out. The added flavor is fantastic and the fat and protein help keep you full even longer than the oats alone.
Have you had steel-cut oats? What’s your favorite topping?
Did you try a new food this week?
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